The wait is over for Owen Tippett, who will make his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. Tippett had been watching from the press box through the Panthers’ first four games, but will now get a chance to show off why they selected him 10th-overall in the most recent draft.
Tippett can play up to nine games in the NHL without burning a year of his entry-level contract, but some believe he can stick in the league right from the start. Armed with a wrist shot that can score from anywhere in the offensive zone, and a big enough frame for the NHL, Tippett blends a power and finesse game to create dangerous opportunities. His 44 goals last year for Mississauga of the OHL were no fluke, as he repeatedly dominated opponents with a pro-style game.
- Also set to make his NHL debut is the player taken just two spots after Tippett, as Martin Necas has been penciled into the Carolina lineup tonight. Necas will center a line of youngsters, with 20-year old Sebastian Aho on his left side, and 22-year old Elias Lindholm on his right. That “Kid Line” will try to create some offense for the Hurricanes, who have scored just two goals in their past two contests and six on the season (not counting the shootout winner in the first game).
- In an interesting story, 2018 draft prospect Rasmus Sandin has left Sweden and will report to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhouds of the OHL. Sandin had been playing in the SHL early on, but will instead come to North America to play for the team who took him 52nd-overall in the CHL import draft. Sandin is another smooth skating Swedish defender who had an outside chance of climbing into the first round. Now, in front of even more scouts in Canada he’ll have a chance to improve on that draft stock playing against much younger players.